Flashback: Ohio State vs. Indiana, 1993

By Joe Beale on November 20, 2013 at 1:45p

After several years of flashing potential but never quite realizing it, the Ohio State football program under John Cooper finally broke out and went on a run for national glory in 1993. At the beginning of the season it appeared that everything would come up roses for this Buckeye team, but it ended up as a year of both triumph and tragedy.

A breakout season for Galloway and for OSU receivers in general.Joey Galloway sporting the cut-off jersey and sculpted abs.

Even so, it was a turning point for the program. As a head coach who was famously "hands off" regarding the details of his team, preferring to leave most of the coaching to his assistants, Cooper had rubbed many fans the wrong way. His plain-spoken manner was refreshing to some, but the perceived hucksterism of his appearances on commercials gave the impression of a media mogul more than that of a football technician.

Results on the field matter more to Ohio State fans than perceptions and mannerisms, and the bottom line is that if you win, you can be pretty much any kind of guy and OSU fans will forge an affection for you. Cooper took a while to get that part of the formula down, but it was all coming together in 1993 with a combination of veteran leadership and young up-and-coming stars.

The brightest of the stars in the early going was wide receiver Joey Galloway. Galloway was just starting to make his presence felt in 1992 when a cheap shot from a Bowling Green defender ended his season prematurely. With that painful injury behind him, along with months of agonizing rehab, Galloway was faster than ever, and his physique was sculpted to endure the rigors of big-time college football. 

Another star on offense was a player who had been around for a while. Raymont Harris had come to Ohio State in 1989 as a versatile running back with many high school accomplishments and a lot of confidence. But things did not go as he had planned it, sitting for a year as a redshirt and then fighting for playing time behind the likes of Carlos Snow, Butler By'not'e, and Robert Smith. Now as a fifth-year senior, he was finally the starter and was making the most of it.

The OSU offense sizzled in the early going behind the strong running of Harris and the big plays of Galloway. Due to the inexperience of new starting quarterback Bobby Hoying, the coaching staff alternated senior Bret Powers in at the position, creating a platoon at the position. They also scripted the first 15 plays of each game, which resulted in consistent excellence early as the Buckeyes scored on their first possession in each of the first seven games of the season.

With all of the talk about the offense, it was easy to forget about the performance of the defense, which had been outstanding for the most part. The star of that unit was defensive tackle Dan Wilkinson, a 300-pound behemoth who terrorized opposing offenses and racked up tackles-for-loss at a steady rate. Wilkinson was a junior who was already being talked about as a prime NFL prospect if he came out early.

While 1993 represented a milestone on the way to greater things for Ohio State, for Indiana it was the opposite: the last great season before the wheels came off for the program. Coach Bill Mallory had inherited a 3-8 team back in 1984 when Sam Wyche left the program abruptly to take the reins of the Cincinnati Bengals. Malllory's first team went 0-11, but afterwards steadily improved until going 8-4 in 1987 and claiming a share of the Big Ten title. Those eight wins included IU's first victory over Ohio State since 1950.

The Hoosiers defeated OSU again the next year, and continued to be among the Big Ten's best for the next five years. In 1993, Indiana got off to a 7-2 start before facing the Buckeyes, their best start since 1969. They came into Ohio Stadium on a down note though, having lost a close one at Penn State the week before. It was their second straight road contest against a national power, and they would need a lot of energy to stay competitive against the Buckeyes. They had gone into the PSU game ranked #17, but the loss would drop them to #19. 

Ohio State began the season ranked #18, but a steady series of impressive victories would vault them up the rankings until they reached #3 in the middle of conference play. A 13-13 tie at Wisconsin dropped them to #5 heading into the showdown with Indiana, as they went to 8-0-1 for the season. A win over Indiana would stop the bleeding for the moment, and would also assure them of at least a share of the Big Ten title, their first since 1986.

By number: (72), Dan Wilkinson, tackle, Ohio State; (44) Winfred Tubbs, linebacker, Texas; (31) Dan Eichloff, punter, Kansas; (92) Rob Waldrop, tackle, Arizona; (98) Shante Carver, end, Arizona State; (37) Steve Wasylk, Anson Mount Scholar/Athlete, Michigan State; (3) Shonte Peoples, safety, Michigan; (44) Keith Burns, linebacker, Oklahoma State; (55) Willie McGinest, end, USC; (6) Terris Harris, safety, Miami; (33) Dewayne Dotson, linebacker, Mississippi; (8) Corey Sawyer, cornerback, Florida State; (43) Antonio Langham, cornerback, Alabama.Dan Wilkinson (#72 upper left) made the Playboy All-American team.

On a cold and blustery afternoon in Ohio Stadium, OSU defeated IU 23-17 behind 162 yards rushing from Harris, who went over 1000 yards for the season. Galloway caught his eleventh touchdown pass of the season, a four-yard toss from Hoying in the second quarter. Later that quarter, Powers hit Buster Tillman with another touchdown pass to give OSU the lead for good. 

The opportunity to win the Big Ten outright evaporated the next week as the Buckeyes folded at Michigan in a devastating 28-0 defeat. Wisconsin went to the Rose Bowl and Ohio State had to settle for a Holiday Bowl date with BYU. But before that game was played, tragedy struck the team off the field.

On December 11, backup defensive end Jayson Gwinn was killed in a car accident on campus in the early morning hours. Gwinn had just helped teammate Marvin "Obie" Stillwell get medical treatment after he had been shot in a local nightclub. The death cast a dark shadow over the team's preparations for the bowl game on December 30.

Nevertheless, Ohio State went to San Diego and took care of business in the game as they ran with authority over the physically outmatched BYU Cougars. Harris set a new Holiday Bowl record by rushing for 235 yards and three touchdowns to lead the team to a 28-21 victory. OSU finished the season with a record of 10-1-1 and with a ranking of #11. 

Indiana recovered from the loss to OSU by defeating rival Purdue before dropping their bowl game against Virginia Tech. They finished #21 in the final rankings, and they have never been ranked that high since. Mallory's Hoosier's slipped to 6-5 in 1994, and then finished 2-9 and 3-8 the next two seasons. After that, Mallory was fired and replaced by former IU quarterback Cam Cameron

Sadly, there's no footage of the '93 Indiana game on YouTube. Here, enjoy this mashing of Pitt, instead.


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Hovenaut's picture

Nice flashback. 
Still remember awaiting score results via fax from weapons control as my ship was at sea pretty much all the '93 season. Fax - as in "not in real time", smdh...what a time. 
Bill Mallory was another Woody disciple who did pretty well at Indiana - had a couple of decent squads in the late 80's iirc. 
Not thinking Saturday's contest is quite as close. 

awarren84's picture

An FYI...Today is Joey Galloway's Birthday!

"Anything less than flagrant is just playing grab ass!"

Hovenaut's picture

Maybe ESPiN will do him a solid and assign him with someone else on Saturday. 

Joe Beale's picture

And he's 42 years old, which means he has the answer to life, the universe, and everything. ;)

Happy birthday, Joey!

shaggybuckeye's picture

Even to this day I can't get it through my head that Cooper, despite having all of that NFL caliber talent on his rosters every single year, couldn't beat Michigan let alone bring home a National Title.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Great minds, Shaggy...!

Oldschoolbuck's picture

Totally forgot about Powers and Hoying splitting time at QB. How in the world do you not score at all against scUM with Raymont Harris, Joey Galloway and Hoying (among others) on offense?       I was living in West Central Georgia at that time and didn't get to watch much Buckeye football -- did not realize Coop was a hands-off coach that delegated a lot to his assistants (sounds like somebody we know at TTUN!). The man could certainly recruit, he just couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper bag (especially against the Weasels; though he did wear a headset at least)! Think about all the players that went to the League off his teams in the mid-90s... The '96 team was incredibly loaded with NFL talent!
Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Joe!

ABrown07's picture

Joey Galloway is the MAN!!!! Fastest player I've ever seen.

I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people.

-Woody Hayes

Murse_Matt's picture

I remember Herbstreit used to call him a "freak". At that time, this wasn't a term that was tossed around a lot, probably because athletes like him weren't as common as they seem today.

I went to see watch a "former buckeye stars" charity basketball game around 2000 at St Charles HS, and Joey showed off his freak ability on the court. He was dunking and running circles around everyone, even the former hoops stars. Wish I could remember who else played.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Not only was Joey the fastest guy on the team but his name was also at the top of the bench press record list.

Seattle Linga's picture

Wasn't it JG that ran away from the ND defense on that slant pass that blew up their plans

Joe Beale's picture

No, that was Terry Glenn. Good idea for a video though.

Jason Gruber's picture

One of my earliest memories of the Buckeyes was hearing Raymont Harris' name. I thought that it was such a cool name. He immediately became my favorite player lol 

"You win with people." Woody Hayes

"If winning isn't everything, why do we keep score?" Vince Lombardi

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯" Joey Bosa

JLBNYC's picture

OK, I'll be the one to say it.  I miss those grey stripes!!

Joe Beale's picture

I absolutely loved the jerseys they wore for the 1993 season. It was the 25th anniversary of the 1968 National Championship, and so they wore 1968 replicas the entire season. Not only did they have the gray stripes, but also the solid black numbers on the sleeves (scroll up to the picture of Galloway and you can sort of see it on his right shoulder sleeve). 

Murse_Matt's picture

It would be fun to dust those jerseys off again for an encore.  However, it looks like these days if you wear an alternate, it has to be "inspired by" a former jersey instead of just wearing a replica.

Haybucks's picture

You were right, Joe. I did enjoy that '93 clip. Thanks, Mark, for your participation!

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


SMP's picture

I liked seeing a full back in play and carrying the ball.  Not as exciting as today's offense, but still fun to watch.  Seeing four D linemen rushing the QB was refreshing too... Every down.

Ethos's picture

any day we can post something that Mark May has to be reminded about that game, the better that day gets.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

gumtape's picture

Raymont was a bowling ball of a player. Always ran like his life depended on it. Great player. Always Smiling.

He was drafted at the same time as rashaan salaam. Rey was the better pro because he always played like a third round pick. And he didn't smoke pot.

High and tight boo boo

Codeezy's picture

Joey Galloway changed my life. 

Joe Beale's picture

Sounds like it could be a great story.

northcampus's picture

The 1993 OSU-IU game was the first Buckeye game I ever saw in person.  I sat in C deck in the north end of the stadium.  A day I'll never forget!!

Joe Beale's picture

I was also at that game with my wife, and also sitting in the North end, although I don't remember which level (A,B,C).

iball's picture

Cant believe how small and puny Pitt's d line looks.

“There’s one thing I have learned through all my adventures and conquests - it’s that some people are just wired for success. I had no choice when it came to being great - I just am great.” – Kenny Powers

buckskin's picture

I remember watching this kid from Bellaire, OH at the State Track Meet absolutely destroy the entire field winning the 100M and 200M dashes.  He won the 200 by 15 yards.  Joey Galloway had some serious wheels; he and Glenn are two of my all time favorite Buckeye receivers.  His jersey looked badass!  Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

JLBNYC's picture

Just watched the Pitt flashback -- Eric Moss! i forgot about him.
Randy's older brother.